Monday, November 11, 2013

Seven Months - Obedience Work

I was hoping to make a video of some of the things we have been working on, but I just haven't got around to it.  Hopefully, I will get some time this week to put some effort into it, but until then I want to do an update of how Rundle is progressing in his obedience work.   We are still working hard to set a good foundation for the future, so that means lots of focus work and lots of control work.  It is also important for me to have a dog that is enthusiastic about training so I keep session fun and try not to make them to repetitious.

Some of the things that Rundle is getting really good at are food bowl control, focusing on me when there are minor distractions such as food on the floor, finding heel position (get in), pivoting, moving downs and he has a very cute jump stand.  His stays are getting good now and I can even leave him out of sight for a short time and he will hold a sit-stay.

For all the things that Rundle is getting good at, there are many more things that are still a work in progress.  That's the fun thing about obedience - one behaviour builds off of another so there are always things to be working on and improving on.  That is why the foundation stuff is so important - everything else Rundle will learn will be based on the stuff I am teaching him right now.  We are now working on dumbbell holds, finding front position, leave it and targeting.  I am also ready to start some scent discrimination games with him - I just need to go out and get the materials needed to get started.

What I haven't been doing as far as obedience work goes, is heeling.  Some people teach their very young puppies to heel but I do not.  I teach finding heel position and maybe we will do a step or two holding that position, but that is it for puppy heel work.  The main component of having a nice heeling dog is focus and attention.  Until I can get Rundle to have nearly 100% focus and attention on me in all sorts of environments, I am not going to start teaching a formal heel.  I do not want to create bad heeling habits by having Rundle distracted and looking around during heeling.  So strong focus work comes first.  I also do not think it is physically appropriate to ask a puppy to be in the heel position (straight body, head up).  It is a physically demanding position and I do not want to put undue strain on such a large breed puppy.  Heeling is hard work, both physically and mentally so I have no problems waiting to teach a formal heel to Rundle.  I have a picture of the perfect heeling dog in my mind and there are so many pieces to put together to get there - I just don't want to rush it.

As for everyday obedience (which is so much different that formal obedience), Rundle is getting very good at walking nice on a leash (unless there is a dog coming towards us),  he is getting much better at meeting strangers (ie not jumping on them) but he still enthusiastically jumps on people he knows (sigh), and his general manners around the house are starting to really come together (waiting at the door, go lay down when told, getting feet wiped, etc).

I have no fun pictures to post so I will post Rundle 7 month stack photo.  I like to do a stacked photo every month just to see how he is growing and changing.  There are so many things I am liking structurally about this puppy and  I am looking forward to see how he matures.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

First Snow

This past week Rundle experienced his first snowfall.  To say he was excited about it is an understatement.  All he wanted to do was stay outside and play and run.  He thought the snow was the best thing in the world.

Rundle had fun running.....

....And jumping...

....And Playing....

....And Chasing....

.... And The Occasional Actually Standing Still.